Time to put on your boots, because the next state on our road trip kind of looks like one. And they’ve got hops: Rayne, Louisiana is the “Frog Capital of the World.” Every year this town has a festival with frog-jumping competitions. They’ve had that nickname since the 1800s, when two businessmen were eating frogs’ legs (yes, that’s a real dish you can eat) and started selling them to restaurants in New York. Rayne has been excited about frogs ever since. They even sent 2 bullfrogs into outer space in 1970, so people could study how being way up there affected their balance. Rayne’s frog festival has been running since 1973…we just hope the frogs who lose the jumping contest don’t become tomorrow’s lunch.
Wee ones: Squat down on the floor, then hop forward 4 times like a frog. Count as you hop!
Little kids: Vowels are the letters a e i o u, and sometimes y. All other letters are “consonants.” Does “Louisiana” have more vowels or consonants? Count them up! Bonus: If you and your 2 pet frogs take a walk (or hop), how many legs do you all have together? (Reminder: A frog has 4 legs.)
Big kids: If a frog leaps 36 feet, another leaps 28 feet, and a 3rd lands exactly halfway between them, how far does the 3rd frog go? Bonus: If 1 frog makes 6 7-inch jumps and a 2nd frog makes 5 8-inch jumps, which frog jumped farther? And if a 3rd frog makes 4 9-inch jumps, what does that come to, and what do you see happening to the numbers?
The sky’s the limit: If a frog zooms into outer space on March 19 and comes back down to Earth on May 8, how many days was the frog on the rocket, including both the first and last days?
Wee ones: Hop 1, 2, 3, 4.
Little kids: It has more vowels: 6 vowels and just 3 consonants. Bonus: 10 legs, which is 4 + 4 + 2.
Big kids: 32 feet. Bonus: The 1st frog jumped farther: a total of 42 feet vs. 40. The 3rd frog would go 36 feet…as you spread apart the 2 numbers you’re multiplying, you get smaller answers. This is always true!
The sky’s the limit: 51 days. March has 31 days and the frog was *not* on the rocket for the first 18, so 31-18=13 days in space, Then we add the 30 days of April and the 8 days of May.
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.